Archives for category: parmesan cheese

Here’s an easy recipe for light puffy breadsticks: just throw some cheese and herbs on a sheet of puff pastry and bake! You can customize these with your favorite pizza/breadstick toppings.

Puff Pastry and Cheese for an awesome batch of breadsticks

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • to taste: garlic powder, parsley flakes, and/or oregano
  • crushed red pepper flakes

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lay the puff pastry flat on the parchment paper and sprinkle on the cheese. Add garlic powder, parsley flakes and/or oregano to taste.

Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut puff pastry in half (going the short direction). Then cut the long way into 1-inch strips.

Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Before serving, top with crushed red pepper flakes.

Just add cheese and herbs to puff pastry and cut into breadsticks - So easy and delicious

 

recipe adapted from 4 Ingredients by Kim McCosker & Rachael Bermingham
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Here’s a basic recipe you can use in tons of cooking: Mornay sauce. This classic old-school cheesy French white sauce is an awesomely versatile sauce, which goes great with poultry, fish, vegetables, eggs, and pasta. It takes only a few minutes to make; it’s basically a bechamel sauce with extras added in (cheese, butter, cream, curry, etc).

I decided to make a mac & cheese with a Mornay sauce recipe adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I had all of the ingredients already, which was a bonus. Hurray for simple basics! 🙂

Here’s how my Mac & Mornay turned out – both the plain version and then one with sauteed portobello mushroom strips tossed in.

Mac and Cheese - French Mornay Sauce - Simple but delicious recipe

 

Pasta with Cheesy Mornay Sauce Recipe - tossed with sauteed portabello mushroom strips

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 lb. boxed Penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1/2 c. grated cheese (Swiss, Gruyere, white cheddar, or a Swiss/Parmesan mix)
  • 1 Tbs. softened butter
  • white pepper, to taste
  • additional salt, if needed for taste
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • optional add-ins: sauteed mushrooms, etc.

WHAT YOU DO:

In a small saucepan, heat milk and 1/4 tsp. salt to a boil. Keep hot.

Make the roux: In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Blend in flour, and stir gently until the mixture froths together for two minutes without changing color.

Remove from heat. As soon as bubbles stop, pour in the milk/salt from the saucepan. Whisk quickly to blend, making sure to incorporate all the roux from the pan’s edges.

Place saucepan on medium-high heat and whisk until sauce comes to a boil. Boil for one minute while stirring.  Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted, then add butter, and remaining spices (pepper, salt, nutmeg, cayenne) to taste.

Add the sauce to the pasta, and any optional add-ins, and stir to combine. Voila!

Here’s an awesome way to use leftover risotto! Arancini di Riso. Which is a way to say fried risotto balls in Italian and make it sound way prettier than “fried risotto balls.” 🙂

Arancini di Riso - Cheesy Risotto Balls - Delicious way to use leftover risotto!.jpg

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 c. cooled risotto (I used this recipe, but didn’t add any cheese – YET!)
  • 2 c. Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 oz. fontina cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for topping
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • oil for frying (I used a mixture of vegetable and canola)
  • optional: marinara sauce for dipping

WHAT YOU DO:

In a mixing bowl, stir together cooled risotto, garlic, egg, parmesan, salt, pepper and 1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs. Using your hands, roll the mixture into round balls (1 to 2 inches in diameter).

Gently push a cube (or two!) of fontina cheese in the center of each ball then seal it all around. Roll each ball in the remaining Panko and place on a baking sheet. Once all the panko is rolled, place baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.

After removing from the freezer, heat 1 or so inches of oil in a large pot, until it’s 325-350°F.

Add about 3-4 risotto balls to the oil at one time, frying until golden on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel covered plate to remove excess grease. Repeat until all have been fried.

While still hot, grate some parmesan cheese on top, and serve. Optional: Use marinara for a dipping sauce.

recipe adapted from howsweeteats.com

Arancini di Riso Recipe - Cheesy Risotto Balls - easy way to use leftover risotto!

Italian Red Sauce - so easy and fresh and homemade - includes an awesome lasagna recipe - I make giant batches and freeze for later

Here’s a delicious risotto recipe I tried. It is creamy and delicious, with three cheeses: fontina, mozzarella, and parmesan; and a touch of white wine.

THREE CHEESE RISOTTO RECIPE:

Three Cheese Risotto Recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

3 c. chicken broth
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 c. Arborio rice
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. freshly shredded fontina cheese
1/2 c. freshly shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

In a saucepan, heat broth over medium heat. Lower heat a little while you prepare the rice in a large pan. (I used the back burner for the broth and the front burner for the rice so it was easy to ladle in the broth.)

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.

Stir in onions and cook until they are translucent, approximately 5 minutes or so.

Stir in rice just until it is coated in the butter. Do not brown.

Pour in wine and cook until wine absorbs.

Pour in one ladle of hot chicken broth.

Stir consistently until liquid is absorbed. Repeat process, one ladle at a time, until all broth has been absorbed by the rice.

Remove from heat. Stir in cheeses until they melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand a few minutes. Serve.

recipe adapted from lifesambrosia.com

 

P.S. Here’s a show and tell of my new ladle, which was perfect for adding in the broth as I went: Nessie!!!

 

Have leftovers? Use them in some cheesy fried risotto goodness!

Arancini di Riso - Cheesy Risotto Balls - Delicious way to use leftover risotto!

 

Here’s a batch of pesto I made with some basil from the garden. I used pine nuts, which are pretty expensive, but I’ve since learned you can use walnuts, pecans, or even almonds instead. It keeps in the fridge for 1 week, or you can freeze in freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays for up to 6 months. Also you can adjust the olive oil so the pesto is as thick or thin as you like. It’s great for pasta, or even as spreads on flatbread crackers, or on sandwiches as a spread.

Fresh pesto - just basil, garlic, parm cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts. Soooo easy I can't believe I used to buy it instead of making it myself.WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil (+ more if you want to thin it out)

WHAT YOU DO:

In a food processor: combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese. Add olive oil as it’s running until emulsified. To make it thinner, add olive oil until it reaches desired consistency. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week. Or place in freezer-safe containers (or ice cube trays) to store for up to 6 months in the freezer.

5 ingredient homemade PESTO. Keeps for 1 wk in the fridge, or freeze for up to 6 mos.

 

Here’s a healthy lunch I made with my GEFU Spiral Cutter:

Zoodles - use a spiral cutter to make 'noodles' out of zucchini. Saute with mushrooms, EVOO, and garlic. Add tomato sauce or other toppings like feta cheese.

Zucchini “noodles” AKA zoodles. In a skillet, sauteed the zucchini with EVOO and garlic, added some sliced mushrooms, and topped it with pasta sauce. It was super delicious, and the zucchinis really did taste like pasta noodles.

Here’s what I did…

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 small zucchinis, spiral cut
  • 4 oz. sliced Monterey mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Optional toppings: spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese, feta cheese, etc.

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Saute the EVOO, garlic, zucchinis and mushrooms over medium-high heat until slightly tender.
  • Serve with pasta sauce or other toppings.

Is that pasta? No it's zucchinis cut into spiral 'noodles' topped with tomato sauce. Great meatless option, or could add ground turkey in the sauce.

 

Love zoodles? Here’s my lemon garlic shrimp on zoodles recipe.

Also check out:

Easy Marinated Mushrooms

Feta, Avocado & Tomato-Topped Pita Chips

Wasabi Sesame Soy Cucumber Salad

Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

Fresh Mediterranean Salad

I was on a mission to stock our freezer with some chicken meals, and started with a Ranch Parmesan Chicken recipe from plainchicken.com.

Here’s what I ended up with…

Baked Parmesan Ranch Chicken - served with rice and salt & vinegar cucumber salad

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 uncooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used two since they were huge)
  • 1 c. Ranch dressing
  • 1 c. panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted

WHAT YOU DO:

  • If preparing right away, preheat oven to 400F. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and pepper on a plate. Dip chicken in Ranch to coat both sides, then roll in bread crumbs. Place in baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  (To add a little crispiness back I sprinkled on a tiny amount of breadcrumbs on top). Drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 30-35 mins or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Approximately 5 mins before removing from oven, turn up to “broil,” which will crisp up & brown the breading.
  • If freezing, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and pepper on a plate. Dip uncooked chicken in Ranch to coat both sides, then roll in bread crumbs. Put breaded chicken in a gallon ziplock bag, and label with a marker, then freeze. To prepare, thaw, then place chicken in baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake  in preheated 400F oven for 30-35 mins or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Approximately 5 mins before removing from oven, increase temp to “broil” to crisp up the breading.

Ranch Parmesan Chicken breaded in Panko then baked.

I served this with rice (prepared in my beloved rice cooker)

and a cold salad of salt & vinegar cucumbers with dill (instead of slicing the cucumbers into slices I used a spiral cutter for the cucumbers)

Need more freezer meal ideas? Here’s a recipe for 5-ingredient Pork Chop and Potatoes

Here’s a delicious recipe for a creamy, garlicky, lemony pasta. The hubs even enjoyed it and he is not even a pasta fanatic like I am. 🙂

Lemon Garlic Spinach Pasta - creamy and delicious. Tastes like it was straight out of a fancy restaurant. Must save to make again!

Here’s what I did…

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 lemon: zested, and juiced
  • 1/2 c. chopped green onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 c. shredded Parmigiano Reggiana cheese + more for garnish
  • 1 c. half and half
  • 1 lb. thin spaghetti
  • 10 oz. fresh spinach

WHAT YOU DO:

  • In a stock pot, bring salted water to a boil.
  • Add pasta then cook for 5 mins.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the lemon juice, zest, green onions, and garlic to a simmer. Add the half and half, whisk for 1 minute, and make sure you don’t scald the mixture.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat.
  • Add spinach to the boiling water while the pasta is still cooking, and cook for 3 more mins (or until the pasta is al dente).
  • Drain the pasta/spinach, then return to the pot and toss with lemon mixture.
  • Add the shredded cheese and toss to combine.
  • Garnish with more cheese then serve.

recipe adapted from cozycountryliving.com

Here’s another pasta recipe I recently tried and loved: Spicy Thai Noodles. Check it out! 🙂

Or, for a healthy option, substitute zucchini ribbons in place of pasta noodles – here’s my Zoodles recipe.

I adapted some recipes from heymikiheymiki.wordpress.com and thetipgarden.com, and made a braided loaf- pepperoni pizza style. I used frozen bread dough for the crust, and pepperoni for the filling, but you can use whatever pizza toppings you like. Also, this is freezer friendly, so you can make some extras for later!

Here’s what I came up with…

YUM Braided Pepperoni Pizza - put a twist - literally - on homemade pizza

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 (1-lb.) loaves of Rhodes frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1/4 c. pizza sauce
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. pepperoni slices
  • 2 c. shredded mozarella cheese
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 3 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Minced garlic, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

If baking right away…

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Roll out dough into a large rectangle on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Spread marinara sauce down the middle of the rectangle.
  • Add mozzarella and pepperoni.
  • Using an oiled knife cut diagonal strips up each side of the dough, from the edge, to the sauce.
  • Fold the strips up and over the filling, alternating sides to achieve a braided look.
  • Melt butter, then stir in grated Parmesan and garlic. Brush on top of the braided dough.
  • Bake for 35 mins, or until golden brown.

If freezing…

  • Roll out pizza dough into a large rectangle on a piece of saran wrap.
  • Spread marinara sauce down the middle of the rectangle.
  • Add mozzarella and pepperoni.
  • Cut 1-inch diagonal strips up each side of the dough using an oiled pizza cutter or knife.
  • Fold the strips up and over the filling, alternating sides to achieve a braided look.
  • Melt butter, then stir in grated Parmesan and garlic. Brush on top of the braided dough.
  • Wrap in saran wrap, then in foil. Label with a permanent marker and freeze for up to 4 mos.
  • To Bake: Remove from freezer and allow to thaw in fridge. Place bread dough on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in preheated 375F oven for 35 mins, or until golden brown.

Braided Pepperoni Pizza - put a twist - literally - on homemade pizza

Braided Pepperoni Pizza - put a twist - literally - on homemade pizza

Braided Pepperoni Pizza - put a twist - literally - on homemade pizza

Braided Pepperoni Pizza - put a twist - literally - on homemade pizza

Braided Pepperoni Pizza - put a twist - literally - on homemade pizza

Braided Pepperoni Pizza - put a twist - literally - on homemade pizza

Braided Pepperoni Pizza - put a twist - literally - on homemade pizza

2 ingredient pizza dough - seriously just 2 ingredients! Customize with your fave pizza toppings or use for breadsticks, garlic bread, dessert pizza, and more.Want to try a recipe for homemade crust? This one has just 2 ingredients! Greek yogurt and self-rising flour. YUM.

 

 

Delicious Zucchini Pizza Bites - cheesy baked goodness. Low carb and great meatless option. Can also top with veggies, or other fave pizza toppings.Or how about a low carb pizza?

Use zucchini coins instead of crust!

 

I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need.

Here’s a healthy-ish one: Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups.

spinach lasagna roll-ups

WHAT YOU NEED:

9 lasagna noodles, cooked and excess water removed
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, partially thawed
15 oz low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
1 jar of pasta sauce
3 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

In a bowl, mix together the spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt & pepper. Lay out a piece of waxed paper and lay the lasagna noodles out flat on top of the waxed paper. Divide the spinach mixture evenly on each noodle (approximately 1/3 of a cup each). Roll the noodles then place seam-side down. After you have finished all of the rolls, flash freeze them on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, then transfer to a gallon freezer bag. Label with a Sharpie and freeze.

To prepare: Preheat oven to 350F. Place a small amount of pasta sauce on the bottom of a foil-lined baking dish. Put a roll-up on top, then top with more sauce. Add mozzarella cheese and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 30-60 minutes (depending on the amount of rolls, and until cheese melts).

recipe adapted from skinnytaste.com

lasagna roll-ups I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups: I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups: I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups: I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. I love recipes that can be frozen into individual portions, so you can make only the amount you need. spinach lasagna-roll ups spinach lasagna roll-ups